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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fairy dust needed

Author Tess Gerritsen comments on the unpredictability of an author's success. As she puts it:

"Yes, there are some things you as a writer can do to help along your success. You have to write a good book. Then you make sure you hook up with a great agent. (For those of you who are interested, I have the BEST agent -- Meg Ruley of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.) You insist on a great cover and a great title. You make yourself available for media. You plow into the publicity circuit with a can-do attitude.

"You try to be NICE to people. (Did I mention this already? How important it is to show a little old-fashioned respect and cooperation?)

"But then something else takes over, something that's totally out of your control. You get sprinkled with some fairy dust. You can't ask for it. The fairies have to decide you're the chosen one. Your book release is scheduled during a week when no blockbusters are out. Or Oprah reads it on vacation. Or the zeitgeist is just quivering for a book of your subject matter. Or your name is Dan Brown.

"Whatever the reasons, the fairies have decided you are THE ONE. Your book hits the bestseller list while other equally well written books don't. Are you better than them? Maybe."

Unfortunately, she's right. An author doesn't have a lot of power over whether his or her book is going to blow up big. A large proportion of any book's success goes to plain ole luck. Or in Gerritsen's words, "fairy dust."

So, word: if any fairies are hovering around, please, please feel free to sprinkle some of that enchanted dust my way. At least enough to get me another two-book deal.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 1/31/2006 03:29:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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